Recording: VGL Forum – Hard Truths on Leadership Transitions

VGL Forum

10 November 2021 | VGL Forum

In a recent Virtual VGL Forum on Hard Truths on Leadership Transitions – What You Wish You Knew Before Your Leadership Transition, our featured speakers Jim Herman (former US Diplomat, now Founder of HonuLei Connection), Elizabeth Sáenz (UNODC Liaison Officer), Torsten Schuster (HR expert Organisations & Leadership, Intel), moderated by Pari Namazie (EUNEPA, research project Leaders in Transition), shared their stories and insights from three different stages in their lives.

Conversation guide

  1. 00:00 Welcome and about VGL
  2. 01:01 Introducing Pari Namazie
  3. 01:46 Introducing the research project “Leaders in Transition”
  4. 03:41 The four stages of life transitions
  5. 05:27 Introducing the speakers
  6. 06:22 Introducing Torsten Schuster
  7. 09:37 Introducing Elizabeth Sáenz
  8. 11:44 Introducing Jim Herman
  9. 13:31 Poll question 1: In which age group do you think are the hardest transitions?
  10. 16:04 Torsten, what is the transition you are in right now?
  11. 23:56 What do you think are the top 3 inner characteristics for a successful transition?
  12. 25:30 Elizabeth, what has been your biggest challenge in your transition?
  13. 38:56 What do you think are the top 3 reasons that transitions fail?
  14. 39:55 Jim, what is your story and your transition, from a big international career to your new role in retirement?
  15. 48:55 When you look back, did transitions get easier?
  16. 51:15 Torsten, how have you reinvented yourself?
  17. 54:04 Elizabeth on moving through transitions like a feather
  18. 56:52 What are the main differences between externally triggered transitions and internally motivated ones?
  19. 59:10 Looking back on your transitions, where was your biggest growth and transformation?
  20. 59:29 Elizabeth’s answer
  21. 1:02:30 Elizabeth, what are your words of advice for people in their early years of transition?
  22. 1:04:52 Torsten on his biggest growth and transformation
  23. 1:09:04 Jim on his biggest growth and transformation
  24. 1:12:03 What are key success factors for individuals transitioning into a role as head of an organisation?
  25. 1:17:23 What is your word of advice for people going through a transition?
  26. 1:19:12 Join the research project on transition

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Dr. Elizabeth Sáenz

Dr. Elizabeth Sáenz

Elizabeth is a medical doctor specialized in paediatrics with further Master’s degrees in Public Health in Developing Countries and Mother and Child Health.

She has worked as a practitioner both in the public and private sector, developing a sensibility for the social dimensions of health care and health services provision.

Through her career, she has worked in several UN organizations, such as PAHO, UNFPA and more recently UNODC, where for the past 13 years she has been responsible for the coordination of global programmes on treatment of drug use disorders.

In early 2020 she was assigned as UNODC Liaison Officer in Geneva. She is responsible for promoting UNODC’s and WHO’s efforts in working on a holistic approach to drug demand reduction, and enhance interagency cooperation in the UNODC-WHO Programme on drug dependence treatment and care.

Jim Herman

Jim Herman

Jim is a co-founder and managing partner in HonuLei Connection, which is based in Honolulu and provides coaching, leadership training, and consulting on bringing restorative justice to organizations. He retired as U.S. diplomat in 2019. His last overseas assignment was as Principal Officer/Consul General at the U.S. Consulate in Frankfurt, Germany, the largest U.S. consulate in the world with over 900 employees.

Jim knows a bit about transitions: he has lived and worked in eight countries. During his 28-year career as a diplomat he moved 14 times and held 17 different positions, including training positions. After he left the Foreign Service, he and his wife established a new business, he got his Masters Degree in Conflict Transformation, he became a certified coach, and he started a leadership training program.

Torsten Schuster

Torsten Schuster

Torsten is an HR expert responsible for Organizational & Leadership Development for Central Europe at Intel. He has 15+ years of professional experience in the consulting and high-tech industry with a strong focus on transformation management.

Torsten’s purpose is to provide leaders & talents inspiration and a safe space to grow their mindset and capabilities. He is a certified leadership coach supporting his clients to navigate complex environments and master personal and professional transitions. Torsten is proud father of 3 talents and resides in Munich.

Dr. Pari Namazie

Dr. Pari Namazie

Pari is the founder of the platform Vienna Global Leaders and will co-moderate this session. She is an executive coach, facilitator and the Managing Partner and Head of the Leadership and Organisations Division at EUNEPA. She has over 25 years of experience in the field with multinational and international companies. 

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